Your Place: June is home safety month

Every month is home safety month in my house, says the guy who cannot complete a job without at least one scratch, bruise, or bump./pp I’m talking about me, not Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, who in one show glued his head to a board. He also was on a first-name basis with emergency-room personnel and local firefighters./pp I once cut my thumb on the blade of my jointer-planer five minutes before doing a half-hour telephone interview with a radio station in Idaho and bled into one of those five-gallon Home Depot buckets the whole time./pp Bottom line: Do what I say and not what I do! Well, at least when it comes to safety around the house, workshop, roof, yard …/pp Anyway, June is National Safety Month, and here are five good tips from the Home Builders Institute to keep yourself out of the ER:/pp -Use a ladder properly. Check for defects and loose or bent rungs before each use. Never carry equipment, materials, or supplies up or down a ladder./pp -Take the correct measures to prevent eye injury. Safety glasses, goggles, or full-face shields should be used when there is a possibility of splashing chemicals or flying dust, resulting from sawing, grinding, or windy conditions./pp -Wear a hard hat and gloves, when appropriate. Hard hats or helmets should be worn when there’s a possibility something might fall on your head or you might hit your head. Gloves should be worn when working with chemicals or doing yard work, but should never be used with tools that have a spinning or twisting blade or bit because a glove could get caught./pp -Store power tools properly. All tools should have the battery removed or unplugged, and any bits should also be removed prior to storage. On portable electric saws, the blades should be fully retracted and all guards in place./pp -Clean up your dusty work area thoroughly. Wear an N-95 dust mask (it filters 95 percent of airborne particles), available at any home-improvement store, when using a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum and wet mop to clean up dust and debris. Remember that dust particles in sufficient quantity and size can be combustible./pp Q: I want to remove paint from an inside stone wall. Is this a feasible endeavor, and if it is, what do you recommend? Also I am curious about the effectiveness of soy-based paint removers in general./pp A: I’ll be frank. It is a pain of a job as is any effort to remove paint from a porous material./pp You’d have to use a stripper – gel or paste – lay it on thick and keep it applied for a half-hour or so to give it time to work./pp To test whether it is working, scrape away a small piece of your work./pp There may be several layers necessary to remove it completely, and then you’ll need to clean the surface with paint thinner to remove the residue – do it with steel wool – and then scrub the thinner off with detergent and a stiff brush./pp You’ll need to safely dispose of the paint, paint remover, tools and materials, and you’ll need to cover yourself, your eyes, your shoes, and the floors to protect them. Wear an N-95 filter mask recommended above./pp The only soy I am really familiar with is the three half-gallons of milk I buy at Wegman’s every week for my younger son – he was allergic to cow’s milk when he was small and continued drinking it after outgrowing the allergy./pp When pondering your question about soy gel stripper and its effectiveness, my problem with any product is that you tend to get the manufacturer’s view of its strengths and environmental benefits./pp Most of the consumer reviews seem to have been torpedoed by U-boats./pp Although the comments address removing paint from wood and not stone, here’s what I found on Fine Homebuilding’s site from a user: “very slow and incomplete … thick paint as in many layers is a real challenge … paint in the wood grain isn’t hardly touched.”/pp That said, you’ll need to try it yourself to decide. If it doesn’t work to your satisfaction, you can try something else./pp (Questions? E-mail Alan J. Heavens at, or write him at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia PA 19101. Volume prohibits individual replies.)

More Safety Info:

  1. Safe Place program gives kids a home and hope
  2. National Building Safety Month: IBHS Research Center Teaching Consumers Value …
  3. During National Building Safety Month, IBHS Urges States to Adopt Requirement …
  4. Home safety: Can i do lead paint stripping safely?
  5. Phoenix Pool Barrier Company Prepares for National Water Safety Month


Posted in Home Safety News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.